Isaiah 37:1–38

Jerusalem’s Deliverance Foretold

37:1–13pp—2Ki 19:1–13

37 When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothesl and put on sackclothm and went into the templen of the Lord. He sent Eliakimo the palace administrator, Shebnap the secretary, and the leading priests, all wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz.q They told him, “This is what Hezekiah says: This day is a day of distressr and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the moment of births and there is no strength to deliver them. It may be that the Lord your God will hear the words of the field commander, whom his master, the king of Assyria, has sent to ridiculet the living God,u and that he will rebuke him for the words the Lord your God has heard.v Therefore prayw for the remnantx that still survives.”

When King Hezekiah’s officials came to Isaiah, Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraidy of what you have heard—those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemedz me. Listen! When he hears a certain report,a I will make him wantb to return to his own country, and there I will have him cut downc with the sword.’ ”

When the field commander heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish,d he withdrew and found the king fighting against Libnah.e

Now Sennacheribf received a reportg that Tirhakah, the king of Cush,a h was marching out to fight against him. When he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah with this word: 10 “Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you depend on deceivei you when he says, ‘Jerusalem will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria.’j 11 Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries, destroying them completely. And will you be delivered?k 12 Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my predecessorsl deliver them—the gods of Gozan, Harran,m Rezeph and the people of Edenn who were in Tel Assar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath or the king of Arpad?o Where are the kings of Lair, Sepharvaim,p Hena and Ivvah?”q

Hezekiah’s Prayer

37:14–20pp—2Ki 19:14–19

14 Hezekiah received the letterr from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temples of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayedt to the Lord: 16 Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, enthronedu between the cherubim,v you alone are Godw over all the kingdomsx of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.y 17 Give ear, Lord, and hear;z open your eyes, Lord, and see;a listen to all the words Sennacheribb has sent to ridiculec the living God.d

18 “It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste all these peoples and their lands.e 19 They have thrown their gods into the firef and destroyed them,g for they were not godsh but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands.i 20 Now, Lord our God, deliverj us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earthk may know that you, Lord, are the only God.b l

Sennacherib’s Fall

37:21–38pp—2Ki 19:20–37; 2Ch 32:20–21

21 Then Isaiah son of Amozm sent a message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22 this is the word the Lord has spoken against him:

“Virgin Daughtern Ziono

despises and mocks you.

Daughter Jerusalem

tosses her headp as you flee.

23 Who is it you have ridiculed and blasphemed?q

Against whom have you raised your voicer

and lifted your eyes in pride?s

Against the Holy Onet of Israel!

24 By your messengers

you have ridiculed the Lord.

And you have said,

‘With my many chariotsu

I have ascended the heights of the mountains,

the utmost heightsv of Lebanon.w

I have cut down its tallest cedars,

the choicest of its junipers.x

I have reached its remotest heights,

the finest of its forests.

25 I have dug wells in foreign landsc

and drunk the water there.

With the soles of my feet

I have dried upy all the streams of Egypt.z

26 “Have you not heard?

Long ago I ordaineda it.

In days of old I plannedb it;

now I have brought it to pass,

that you have turned fortified cities

into piles of stone.c

27 Their people, drained of power,

are dismayed and put to shame.

They are like plants in the field,

like tender green shoots,

like grassd sprouting on the roof,e

scorchedd before it grows up.

28 “But I know where you are

and when you come and gof

and how you rageg against me.

29 Because you rage against me

and because your insolenceh has reached my ears,

I will put my hooki in your nosej

and my bit in your mouth,

and I will make you return

by the way you came.k

30 “This will be the signl for you, Hezekiah:

“This yearm you will eat what grows by itself,

and the second year what springs from that.

But in the third yearn sow and reap,

plant vineyardso and eat their fruit.p

31 Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah

will take rootq below and bear fruitr above.

32 For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant,s

and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors.t

The zealu of …

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Isaiah 38:1–22

Hezekiah’s Illness

38:1–8pp—2Ki 20:1–11; 2Ch 32:24–26

38 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amozk went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order,l because you are going to die; you will not recover.”m

Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walkedn before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotiono and have done what is good in your eyes.p” And Hezekiah weptq bitterly.

Then the wordr of the Lord came to Isaiah: “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David,s says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears;t I will add fifteen yearsu to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defendv this city.

“ ‘This is the Lord’s signw to you that the Lord will do what he has promised: I will make the shadow cast by the sun go back the ten steps it has gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.’ ” So the sunlight went back the ten steps it had gone down.x

A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah after his illness and recovery:

10 I said, “In the prime of my lifey

must I go through the gates of deathz

and be robbed of the rest of my years?a

11 I said, “I will not again see the Lord himselfb

in the land of the living;c

no longer will I look on my fellow man,

or be with those who now dwell in this world.

12 Like a shepherd’s tentd my house

has been pulled downe and taken from me.

Like a weaver I have rolledf up my life,

and he has cut me off from the loom;g

day and nighth you made an end of me.

13 I waited patientlyi till dawn,

but like a lion he brokej all my bones;k

day and nightl you made an end of me.

14 I cried like a swift or thrush,

I moaned like a mourning dove.m

My eyes grew weakn as I looked to the heavens.

I am being threatened; Lord, come to my aid!”o

15 But what can I say?p

He has spoken to me, and he himself has done this.q

I will walk humblyr all my years

because of this anguish of my soul.s

16 Lord, by such things people live;

and my spirit finds life in them too.

You restored me to health

and let me live.t

17 Surely it was for my benefitu

that I suffered such anguish.v

In your love you kept me

from the pitw of destruction;

you have put all my sinsx

behind your back.y

18 For the gravez cannot praise you,

death cannot sing your praise;a

those who go down to the pitb

cannot hope for your faithfulness.

19 The living, the living—they praisec you,

as I am doing today;

parents tell their childrend

about your faithfulness.

20 The Lord will save me,

and we will singe with stringed instrumentsf

all the days of our livesg

in the templeh of the Lord.

21 Isaiah had said, “Prepare a poultice of figs and apply it to the boil, and he will recover.”

22 Hezekiah had asked, “What will be the signi that I will go up to the temple of the Lord?”

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